Thinking About Dumping My Corporate Job

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Chuck S.'s Comment
member avatar

WOW... I had that same thought in my head ... back in 2005... do it... dump it... get out of that corporate crap and do something for yourself... I never looked back....

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum and thinking about diving into the trucking industry. I am so tired of the daily corporate grind. I have thirty employees and just want to be responsible for me. Funny as it may sound, I just don't want to be the boss anymore. Thinking about starting with Swift. Anyone here ever go through this?

Lopan's Comment
member avatar

I left the corporate world (restaurants) for trucking and it was the best decision I ever made. I started with Swift. Despite what some might tell you, they are a good company with which to start. Their training is six weeks, that's long but not too long (some are six months). Keep in mind that you're probably going to take a pay cut for the first year or two, then stuff will take off.

I could not recommend to you more that you go with a flatbed outfit like TMC. That was the one mistake I made moving into the industry. Flatbed and heavy haul are where the drivers are making up middle income salaries and are home weekends at least. I've got buddies who are approaching six figures. I've been running flatbed almost a year now and my income has gone up by about a third.

Yes, it's as hard as it looks. You earn every penny. But I'm in great physical shape and I feel good - more productive now in my 40s than I was in my late 20s. If you wanna make that move that's the advice I'd give.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Lopan wrote:

I started with Swift. Despite what some might tell you, they are a good company with which to start.

Despite what some might tell you, all of the “so-called” starter companies can support a safe and top performing driver well beyond the first year...the benefits both tangible and intangible are worth serious consideration.

Staying With Your Starter Company Beyond the First Year

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

FliteRisk (nice tag by the way!!!), I spent the last 17 years of my previous life in supervisory roles. All of the baggage that goes with being 'the boss' goes away the minute you get into the career. The nice thing about driving is that, as you've already figured out from your research and other commenters here, you are responsible for yourself, your load, your equipment, and the spacial bubble around your rig. Period.

There is no drama, unless you choose to create it. And if you are sharp, which it sounds like you are (you're here seeking knowledge, after all) you will avoid creating drama. Your dispatchers and driver manager types will love you for it. Most of your coworkers will appreciate that you aren't living the reality TV lifestyle, and your blood pressure and overall satisfaction will benefit as well. Ive been doing this for a bit more than five years now, and love it. I went from OTR regional to day-cab local work. Jumped back into the sleeper for OTR regional again, as I missed it.

Good luck to you, and keep us posted on your progress.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

FliteRisk 's Comment
member avatar

I managed people for many years, got into trucking at the age of 58. Wish I would have done it much earlier. Very challenging but I am only responsible for myself!

I love the idea of being responsible for me only. I have 30 people that report to me now.

FliteRisk 's Comment
member avatar

I left the corporate world (restaurants) for trucking and it was the best decision I ever made. I started with Swift. Despite what some might tell you, they are a good company with which to start. Their training is six weeks, that's long but not too long (some are six months). Keep in mind that you're probably going to take a pay cut for the first year or two, then stuff will take off.

I could not recommend to you more that you go with a flatbed outfit like TMC. That was the one mistake I made moving into the industry. Flatbed and heavy haul are where the drivers are making up middle income salaries and are home weekends at least. I've got buddies who are approaching six figures. I've been running flatbed almost a year now and my income has gone up by about a third.

Yes, it's as hard as it looks. You earn every penny. But I'm in great physical shape and I feel good - more productive now in my 40s than I was in my late 20s. If you wanna make that move that's the advice I'd give.

Thanks for the info. Will check it out.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Flatbed and heavy haul are where the drivers are making up middle income salaries and are home weekends at least. I've got buddies who are approaching six figures. I've been running flatbed almost a year now and my income has gone up by about a third.

I've been meaning to chime in on this.

We always try to help people understand that there's no such thing as "the place to be" in trucking. There is no magical type of freight that pays more than everything else. There is no perfect job, perfect company, or silver bullet to success.

You can make excellent money hauling any type of freight out there. The difference is in the lifestyle and demands each of them offers.

  • Dry van has more opportunities for better home time, but often entails shorter average length of haul.
  • Refrigerated work offers fewer opportunities for good home time but a much longer average length of haul.
  • Flatbed of course normally requires more physical work out in the elements when securing freight and you will find a large variety of opportunities when it comes to home time and average length of haul.
  • Tanker often requires some physical labor when hooking up hoses and offers a wide variety of opportunities for home time and average length of haul. You should have at least one year of experience in one of the other types of freight before attempting any tanker work
  • Line haul is the most like a "regular job" where it's predictable and you're doing the same runs all the time but the pay is exceptional and most drivers get home every night or almost every night
  • Local work often entails a lot of physical labor, especially for the best paying jobs, and extremely long hours in heavy traffic with very little time at home to relax, but you will get home every night. You should have a year of OTR or regional experience before attempting any local work, which is usually what most companies require anyhow.

In the end you can make great money with any of them. The top performing drivers in all of those categories make roughly the same amount of money. It really comes down to what you're looking for regarding home time and job duties.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
FliteRisk 's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Flatbed and heavy haul are where the drivers are making up middle income salaries and are home weekends at least. I've got buddies who are approaching six figures. I've been running flatbed almost a year now and my income has gone up by about a third.

double-quotes-end.png

I've been meaning to chime in on this.

We always try to help people understand that there's no such thing as "the place to be" in trucking. There is no magical type of freight that pays more than everything else. There is no perfect job, perfect company, or silver bullet to success.

You can make excellent money hauling any type of freight out there. The difference is in the lifestyle and demands each of them offers.

  • Dry van has more opportunities for better home time, but often entails shorter average length of haul.
  • Refrigerated work offers fewer opportunities for good home time but a much longer average length of haul.
  • Flatbed of course normally requires more physical work out in the elements when securing freight and you will find a large variety of opportunities when it comes to home time and average length of haul.
  • Tanker often requires some physical labor when hooking up hoses and offers a wide variety of opportunities for home time and average length of haul. You should have at least one year of experience in one of the other types of freight before attempting any tanker work
  • Line haul is the most like a "regular job" where it's predictable and you're doing the same runs all the time but the pay is exceptional and most drivers get home every night or almost every night
  • Local work often entails a lot of physical labor, especially for the best paying jobs, and extremely long hours in heavy traffic with very little time at home to relax, but you will get home every night. You should have a year of OTR or regional experience before attempting any local work, which is usually what most companies require anyhow.

In the end you can make great money with any of them. The top performing drivers in all of those categories make roughly the same amount of money. It really comes down to what you're looking for regarding home time and job duties.

Line haul sounds nice.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Line haul sounds nice.

I'm not sure what about it appeals to you. If it's the pay, then you also have to realize how critical a role seniority plays in those jobs, not to mention you have to "bid" on your route each time they come up for bid. Senior drivers have their pick of the lot, and if they like your gig, well they get it.

I once thought the pay in line haul work sounded good. That was before I understood the things Brett just mentioned. Once a person gets out here and establishes themselves with some credentials and understanding of how to be a successful professional, you're going to make great pay at which ever type of driving you prefer.

I'd be bored to tears running a line haul route. I love the adventure, and the unexpected satisfactions that come with driving OTR. My annual take home pay rivals most line haul drivers, and it has the added benefit of an adventurous lifestyle.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I'd be bored to tears running a line haul route. I love the adventure, and the unexpected satisfactions that come with driving OTR. My annual take home pay rivals most line haul drivers, and it has the added benefit of an adventurous lifestyle.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. I'm an adventurer, first and foremost. That's what I loved most about trucking. I love a challenge. I love for every day to be unique and unpredictable. OTR driving was the adventure of a lifetime. Doing local work was absolutely awful to me. I wanted to jump off a cliff.

That being said, I've known plenty of people who would hate that type of life. Some people thrive in very predictable circumstances. They'd prefer to have the same job doing the same thing with the same people every day for 30 years.

That's the beauty of trucking. Any job you can imagine is out there somewhere. You can go to the same exact place every day of your life for 30 years or you can go on tour with a huge rock-n-roll band for months at a time. You can find work unloading 25,000 pounds of goods by hand every day or you can go years at a time without lifting a finger.

It's all out there. Once you get some good OTR experience and understand how this industry works the sky's the limit.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
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